tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 14, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
at 9:00 p.m. on december 26, 2010, during the height of a blizzard, two men invaded a kohl's department store on washington street in woburn, massachusetts, to rob the jewelry counter as the employees prepared to close. as one robber entered the store, the second stood lookout on the outside while a third man waited in a nearby getaway vehicle. the robber in the department store was a career criminal with a long and violent record. he took a large amount of jewelry and fled outside the store into the driving snow. eyewitnesses and store employees dialed 911. . officer maguire saw an officer and drove his cruiser to prevent the escape of a gunman into a residential neighborhood in woburn. officer maguire jumped out of his cruiser on washington
street and the gunman opened fire on him. shots were exchanged and the gunman was killed. unfortunately officer maguire was shot four times in the torso and was transported to a local trauma center where he was pronounced, unfortunately, that he had passed away. officer maguire paid the ultimate price, protecting the citizens of woburn. we are incredibly grateful for his selfless acts that day which capped 34 years of outstanding dedication to the safety of the people of woburn. on june 26, 1977, officer maguire began his career by being sworn in by his father, police chief thomas maguire. a long time friend of mine. and he was so proud to follow in his father's footsteps. on december 26, 2010, he died wearing badge 23, which had been his own father's badge
number. just days before his death, he had celebrated his 60th birthday and given notice of his intention to retire on october of 2011. a devoted husband and caring father, officer maguire is survived by his wife, desiree, and his children, brian and tara and shawn. officer maguire died protecting the residents of woburn of a gunman. he was the first officer that was killed in the line of duty since the inception in 1847. it was a tragedy for his family and for the woburn police department and the commonwealth of massachusetts to have lost such an honorable father, a courageous cop and a hometown hero. that is why at the request of mayor scott galvin of woburn, police chief richard kelly and former police chief mahoney of the woburn police department i
introduced h.r. 2640 to rename the woburn police department in the name of -- post office in the name of officer john maguire post office. this is the least we can do to pay tribute to this brave, dedicated first responder. we honor his service and sacrifice. we honor his life and his legacy. and we honor police officers every day who protect the safety and security of all citizens. today we are considering an identical bill that was introduced by my colleague, senator kerry, and senator brown. i urge adoption of this bill, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 462 washington street, woburn, massachusetts, as the officer john maguire post office, to
honor the legacy of a true hometown hero. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. farenthold: i, too, continue to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland's recognized. mr. cummings: we have no further speakers and we would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. farenthold: madam speaker, i urge all members to support the passage of senate 1412, and i yield back the balance of my time as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 1412. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does -- mr. farenthold: i'd like to
request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. farenthold: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 298. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 298, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 500 east whitestone boulevard in cedar park, texas, as the army specialist matthew troy morris post office building. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: i ask unanimous
consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farenthold: madam speaker, with the observance of veterans day this past friday, it is timely and fitting that we name this post office in cedar park for army specialist matthew troy morris, a texan and true american hero who died defending freedom. i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to my colleague and friend from the great state of texas, the sponsor of this legislation, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 298, a bill that would designate the united states post office located at 500 east whitestone boulevard in cedar park, texas, as the army specialist matthew troy
morris post office building. mr. speaker, i have the high honor of representing the brave men and women of fort hood, texas, the largest military installation in the world. every day that i have the opportunity to serve in congress, i do so knowing that my number one responsibility is to give our men and women in uniform the support and resources they need to be successful. each time i visit fort hood i see america's finest, the soldiers who put it all on the line to allow us to live in the greatest country on earth. only three days ago we celebrated veterans day, a sober reminder that freedom is not free. and today we here on the house floor remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, another reminder to all of us that freedom is not free. representing fort hood, texas, also comes with a sober
reminder of the sacrifice that our young men and women in the military and their families make because of freedom. september 11, 2001 -- since september 11, 2001, 384 army soldiers have been killed in action from the 31st district in texas. the highest number of any congressional district in the country. central texans and their families have sacrificed much and know that freedom is not free. today we celebrate the life and remember one of those patriots who served our country and gave his all, army specialist matthew troy morris. matthew morris was born on july 16, 1984, in fairfax, virginia. he attended fishburne military school in virginia where he earned an rotc leadership award. he later attended cedar park high school in cedar park, texas, and went on to score in the 90th percentile on each
section of the general education development test. specialist morris enlisted in the united states army in december, 2005, and attended basic combat training at fort jackson, south carolina. followed by advanced individual training at aberdeen proving ground, maryland. he graduated from a.i.t. in june of 2006 as a power generation equipment mechanic and was assigned to a second squadron and the third armored calvary regimen in fort hood, texas. he was assigned in balad. despite the dangerous nature of his work, he remained devoted to his mission and the heroism he demonstrated in iraq earned him the bronze star, purple heart, army good conduct medal,
national defense service medal, iraq campaign medal, global war on terrorism service medal, overseas service ribbon and combat action ribbon. matthew troy morris was killed on april 6, 2008, when his vehicle encountered a makeshift bomb in balad, iraq. matthew was only 23 years old. he's the oldest of four children leaving behind corey, katy and sam. matthew's parents are lisa and glen morris of cedar park, texas. his father, glenn, served our country in the vietnam war and we should thank him for his service. matthew was engaged to be married to ms. julia richardson. he is survived by his grandparents, nancy jackson and jo ann walters, his aunt, diane , uncles john and brian walters. the sacrifice our military families make often goes
unnoticed, and i'd like the entire morris family to know that we will never forget matthew and the pain that they have endured at his loss. our country and this house has not forgotten matthew and we are proud to celebrate his life on this day. matthew morris exemplified the highest ideas of the united states armed forces and although his passing left a void in the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him, they will forever carry the memories of this heroic young man close to their hearts. mr. speaker, i urge the passage of house -- h.r. 298 and ask the -- my colleagues to join in honoring an american patriot and a hero, army specialist matthew troy morris of cedar park, texas. saturday i was at the dedication of the veterans memorial in cedar park, which holds the likeliest of this
young specialist and there were hundreds of citizens, probably 500 people there to celebrate that memorial. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. cummings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 298, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 500 east whitestone boulevard in cedar park, texas, as the army specialist matthew troy morris post office building. , the measure before us was introduced by congressman john carter and in accordance with our committee requirements, h.r. 298 has been co-sponsored by all the members of the texas delegation. it was reported favorably by the house oversight and government reform committee on november 3, 2011. army specialist matthew troy morris was born in 1984 just across the potomac river in
fairfax, virginia. he was killed while serving in balad iraq on sunday, april 6, 2008, after only 23 short years of life. specialist morris was a loving son to his parents, lisa and glenn morris, and a caring brother to his siblings, corey, katy and sam. friends and family describe him as a dedicated soldier and an energetic and inspiring young man. matthew morris joined the army immediately after high school and was assigned to the second squadron based in fort hood, texas. while serving in iraq he earned the bronze star, the purple heart, the national service defense medal and several other declarations for heroism. he was a talented young man whose courage and sacrifice will forever be remembered. mr. speaker, i ask that we pass the underlying bills to recognize specialist morris' valor and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas.
fearntfearnt i reserve the balance of my time. -- mr. farenthold: i reserve the balance of my time. mr. cummings: having no further speakers, mr. speaker, we yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i am truly grateful for the brave and heroic services of specialist morris and the countless other veterans who sacrificed their time, their families that sacrificed their time in serving our country and protecting us -- protecting our freedom. it is true, freedom is not free, and veterans, like specialist matthew troy morris, whom we are proposing to name this post office after, are perfect examples of the bravery and courage of the american military. specialist morris was born on july 16, 1984, in fairfax, virginia. he later attended cedar park
high school in cedar park, texas. specialist morris was in iraq in the second squadron, third armored calvary regimen, based out of fort hood. tragically on april 6, 2008, at just 23 years of age, specialist morris was killed when his vehicle he was riding in hit an introadviced makeshift bomb. specialist morris left behind his parents, three siblings, a fiancee and dozens of our -- other family and friends. for the bravery, courage and heroism he displayed he was awarded the bronze star, purple heart and national service defense medal. mr. speaker, our nation is eternally thankful for his sacrifice and i urge all members to join me in strong support of this bill and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
298. . those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- mr. farenthold: mr. speaker -- mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2422. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2422, a bill to designate facility of the united states postal service located at 45 bay street suit 2 in staten island, new york, as the
sergeant angel mendez post office. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: thank you, mr. speaker. and i'd like to yield to mr. grimm as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: ok, mr. grimm will be recognized for as much time as you might consume. mr. grimm: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor a brother, a member of the united states marine corps. he gave his life for his country and fellow marines during the vietnam war. sergeant angel mendez was born as a puerto rican american parents but was raised in the mission of the he immaculate virgin, an orphanage located in my hometown in staten island, new york. when angel graduated from high school in 1964 he volunteered to
join the united states marine corps. angel mendez was assigned to company foxtrot, second battalion, 7th marines, first marine division. as a corporal. and often said he found a family in the united states marine corps. his company participated in operation desoto, in vietnam. during a search and destroy mission on march 16, 1967, mendez and his company were taken under intense vietcong fire. half of the company sat across an open rice patty, separated by enemy fire, and among them was the platoon commander, lieutenant ronald can cityow. he been shot in his right leg and without hesitation sergeant mendez volunteered to lead a small squad to help his fellow marines and moved lieutenant castillo to safety. he remembers mendez shouting, i'm coming, lieutenant, i'm
coming, as he provided cover fire for the platoon commander and other marines. mendez shielded the lieutenant with his own body as he dressed the wound on his leg and attempted to carry the commander to safety. but it was that the point that he was shot in the shoulder. two marines came to aid mendez and carrying the lieutenant to safety but he refused to let go of the lieutenant and chose to directly expose himself to enemy fire while still carrying the lieutenant's legs. mendez was shielding the lieutenant and the other marines with his own body when he was wounded. lieutenant castillo survived the attack and later became the district attorney of philadelphia and chief justice of the pennsylvania supreme court. sergeant angel mendez is a true hero. he gave his life for protecting fellow marines and in honor of his bravery he was posthue mousely promoted to sergeant and awarded the navy cross, the second highest award for value ar marine can receive.
angel mendez is survived by his brother and sister-in-law who have long sought recognition for angel's heroic actions on that day. i believe it is important for congress to honor the sacrifice of my fellow marine. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2422 in honor of sergeant angel mendez and designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 45 bay street in satin -- staten island, new york, as the sergeant angel mendez post office. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i yield myself such time as i may consume, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i'm very pleased to join my colleagues in supporting h.r. 2422 and i would yield to mr. per lucy of puerto rico. five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. perriello: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to -- mr. pierluisi: thank you, mr. speaker. angel mendez who at age 20 in vietnam laid down his life for his fellow marines. sergeant mendez died far too young, but his short life was filled with greatness. with his bill, congressman grimm, a devil dog himself, honored sergeant mendez, the marine corps, and this country. the bond between new york and puerto rico is deep and strong. sergeant mendez's parents were born in puerto rico and like so many island residents of their generation moved to new york in search of a better life for themselves and their children. how sarning mendez came to possess such character and courage will never be known. and in fact i am moved by the description just made by congressman grimm about his valor. in vietnam.
but on that day, in 1967, when he was mortally wounded on a battlefield thousands of miles from staten island, this new york son of puerto rican heritage became an american hero. today, thanks to congressman grimm, we pay tribute to his strength and his sacrifice and engrave his name in stone. i am now more than ever a proud puerto rican american remembering the life of sergeant angel mendez. thank you, i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2422 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: mamplee, -- mr. chairman, before i continue i'd like to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks, include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, h.r. 2422, introduced by the
gentleman from new york, mr. grimm, designating the postal facility at 45 bay street, suit two, in staten island as the sergeant angel mendez post office, was introduced in july and favorably reported by the government oversight and reform committee on november the 3rd. stories like that of sergeant mendez demonstrate the bravery and courage of all those who have served or are serving in our armed forces. i urge all members to join me in strong support of this bill and i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time having expired, the question -- mr. cummings: mr. speaker. i haven't yielded back yet. thank you very much. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i too join in urging our members to vote in favor of 2422. without a doubt sergeant angel mendez is a very -- was a very courageous young man.
he gave a lot for his country and he certainly deserves this rich honor. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2422. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the bill will be -- mr. farenthold: mr. speaker. i'd like to request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek
recognition? mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2660. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2660, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 122 north holderrieth boulevard in tomble, texas, as the tomball veterans post office. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman's recognized. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, h.r. 2660, introduced by the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul, would designate the facility of the united states postal service at 122 north
holderrieth boulevard in tomball, texas, as the tomball veterans post office. the bill is co-sponsored by the entire texas delegation and, mr. speaker, i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor myself. at this point i'd like to -- i'm sorry, there's no way a grateful nation can adequately express our thanks to those who served. however, naming this post office in tomball after those who served is a small but fitting gesture to the brave men and women who are the reason this country is free. i commend my colleague from texas for introducing this legislation and with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to my distinguished colleague and friend from the great state of texas, the sponsor of this bill, mr. mccaul. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccaul: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank my good friend and colleague from texas, mr. farenthold, for his support in this legislation. i rise in support of our nation's veterans and in support of this legislation which would
designate the post office located at 122 north holderrieth boulevard in tomball, texas, as the tomball veterans post office. it is appropriate, mr. speaker, that on the first legislative day after veterans day that this house would honor its veterans for their sacrifice and if i dealt to our country. i cannot think of a more deserving community than tomball, texas, in my district. mr. speaker, i just returned this weekend from visiting our troops in iraq and afghanistan. and meeting with the president of pakistan. i also visited our wounded warriors the at the regional medical center in germany on veterans day. i'm pleased to report that our men and women in uniform are doing tremendous work and have made extraordinary progress on the war on terror. i was also humbled by our troops' sacrifice and unwavering commitment to our mission. in afghanistan i witnessed the fruits of our soldiers' labor, for the first time women are being educated and afghans are
enjoying freedoms the likes of which they could only dream about under the taliban's brutal regime. in iraq where saddam hussein and his heveragemen once brutalized the iraqi people and silenced their voices, democracy is beginning to take shape. today the iraqi people are free to express their diverse points of view and engage in the same kind of political discourse that we are engaged in here right now in this very chamber. it is because of our soldiers that this is possible. that the american people can be safe from tyranny and that others around the world for the first time in their lives experience the freedoms which we so often take for granted. i am so proud of our soldiers and what they are accomplished -- they have accomplished. soldiers like marine corporal jeffrey johnson of tomball who lost his life in afghanistan in 2010, defending america and what our country stands for in the world. last year i attended jeffrey's funeral in the small town of tomball, where over 30,000
people, 30,000 grateful americans lined up in the streets to show their respect for a true american hero. this unbelievable outpouring of support demonstrated their -- that patriotism and love of country are still alive and well in america. it's thanks to veterans like jeffrey johnson and so many others from texas and across this great country that this is possible. and for that we must honor our men and women who have served in uniform. that is also why i'm active with the veterans history project at the library of congress which preserves and makes accessible the personnel accounts of -- personal accounts of american war veterans so future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. my father, a world war ii veteran who flew bombing missions over nazi germany, always reminded me that his generation often called the greatest generation handed down a better america to my generation.
that same can be said for today's veterans. such as tomball heroes like jeffrey johnson who whose sacrifices are building a better america today. and so to all of america's veterans, let me say on behalf of this distinguished body, thank you, thank you for your service, and i urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from maryland. . mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i rise in strong support of h.r. 2660, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 122 north holderrieth boulevard in tomball, texas, as the tomball veterans post office. this past friday our nation celebrated and honored the heroic service of all our nation's veterans. continuing that celebration, i urge that we enact h.r. 2660
introduced by congressman michael grimm. this legislation is supported by all members of the texas delegation and was considered and considered favorably by the committee on oversight and government reform on november 3, 2007. according to the department of veterans affairs an estimated 1.7 million of our nation's 22.5 million veterans live in the state of texas. the legislation before us would commemorate the service of the veterans of tomball, texas, by naming their local post office in their honor. such commemoration is but a small token of the debt our nation owes its veterans. at a time when veterans returning from the wars in iraq and afghanistan face higher unemployment rates than the general population and when our veterans urgently need a range of services as they recover from both physical and psychological wounds, we must make it our highest priority to ensure veterans have quick and easy access to all the services and benefits they have earned by the commitments they have made and kept to our nation.
that said, mr. speaker, let us come together and support of dedicating the tomball, texas, post office to its hometown veterans by passing h.r. 2660. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: we have no more speakers, and with that we will yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i join my colleagues in urging strong support for this bill honoring our heroic veterans. you know, there's never enough ways we can thank the veterans who served so bravely for this country, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2660. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i have obtobt and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. -- i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2415. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2415, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 11 dock street in pittston, pennsylvania, as the trooper joshua d. miller post office building.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. farenthold: mere, h.r. 2415 introduced by the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, would designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 11 dock street in pittston, pennsylvania, the trooper joshua d. miller post office building. this bill is co-sponsored by the entire pennsylvania state delegation and was favorably reported by the committee on oversight and government reform on the third of november. mr. speaker, while we've
considered multiple bills this afternoon to designate postal facilities for fallen military heros, h.r. 2415 gives the opportunity to those who wear a different kind of uniform, our country's law enforcement officers. this would name the post office in pittston, pennsylvania, post office building for joshua miller who was shot in the line of duty in 2009. a veteran of the marine corps, trooper miller was attempting to save of a 9-year-old boy from a man who kidnapped the child at gun point when he was shot by the suspect. for going above and beyond a police officer's duty to protect and serve, i thank trooper miller and all those who wear the badge on a daily basis for their selfless service and dedication to our communities. with that, mr. speaker, i would now like to yield as much time as he may consume to my distinguished colleague from pennsylvania, the sponsor of this legislation, mr. barletta. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: i thank the gentleman from texas for those kind remarks. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the life and remember the sacrifice of pennsylvania state police trooper joshua d. miller of pittston. trooper miller was shot and killed on june 7, 2009, while attempting to apprehend a kipper who took a 9 -- kidnapper who took a 9-year-old boy at gun point and fled. as he and his partner were trying to apprehend the suspect, trooper miller was shot in the upper chest and in the leg. while they returned another state trooper and local law enforcement officer were able to smash the window in the kidnapper's vehicle, grab the 9-year-old boy and carry him to safety. trooper miller was flown to a hospital, but he died from his wounds. josh was born on june 13, 1974, a son of walter miller of
pittston, and peggy miller of plymouth. josh graduated from pittston area high school class of 1992. he enlisted in the united states marine corps in 1993 serving honorably and achieving the rank of corporal before his discharge. upon separation from active duty, josh worked at the monroe county correctional facility. he enrolled at lackawanna junior college and attended the act 120 course. upon graduation, josh joined the police department in 1999. he worked there until september, 2002, when he joined the pennsylvania state police. trooper miller first worked at the barracks and then at the swift water barracks in monroe county. while there he was selected to be member of an elite unit that conducted aggressive patrols.
trooper miller took pride in training new troopers and hoped to instill his work ethic in them. in 2001, josh met his wife, angela, and they were playeried in october, 2005 -- married in october, 2005. he had three daughters, justine, brianna and jocelyn. after his death thousands attended his viewing. more than 1,700 law enforcement officers from across the country attended his funeral. during the service, then governor ed rendell, honored him with a posthumous medal of honor. on the day he was shot and killed in the line of duty, trooper miller sent an email to a colleague. in it he wrote, "i will not let anything happen to my brothers on my watch." after years of dedicate ready service as a u.s. marine, as a law enforcement officer and as a pennsylvania state police
trooper, trooper miller ended his final watch on june 7, 2009. he died while saving a boy from a kidnapper with a gun. he died serving his community, his commonwealth and his country. that is why i encourage you to support h.r. 2415 and name the united states postal service facility at 11 dock street, pittston, pennsylvania, the trooper joshua d. miller post office building. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i yield myself such time as i may consume, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 2415, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 11 dock street in pittston, pennsylvania, as the trooper joshua d. miller post office building. the measure before us was authored by congressman lou
barletta and co-sponsored by all the members of the pennsylvania delegation. h.r. 2415 was favorably reported out of the house oversight and government reform committee by unanimous consent on november 3, 2011. pennsylvania state trooper joshua d. miller spent his life serving his country. the commonwealth of pennsylvania and his local community. born to walter and peggy miller in 1974, trooper miller enlisted in the marine corps in 1993. upon discharge he returned to pennsylvania and joined the police department before becoming a pennsylvania state trooper. trooper miller was a member of an elite unit of troopers assigned to handle the most dangerous cases. he made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty while trying to rescue a 9-year-old boy who had been kidnaped at gun point and was being held hostage the young boy was ultimately released and returned safely to his family.
on the day of his death, trooper miller wrote in an email to a colleague, and i quote, "i will not let anything happen to my brothers on my watch." his life exemplified his commitment to serving his community and protecting his fellow officers. mr. speaker, i ask that we pass h.r. 2415, to recognize the life and sacrifice of pennsylvania state trooper joshua d. miller, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i have no additional speakers at this time. i continue to reserve my time. mr. cummings: since we have no additional speakers, mr. speaker, we would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. farenthold: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in strong support of h.r. 2415, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, the question is will the house
suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2415. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. cummings: mr. speaker. i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1791. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1791, a bill to designate the united states courthouse under construction at 101 south united states route 1 in fort pierce, florida, as the alto lee adams sr., united states courthouse. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. denham, and the gentlelady from california, mrs. napolitano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. denham: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1791. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
mr. denham: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. denham: h.r. 1791 would designate the united states courthouse currently under construction at 101 south united states route 1 in fort pearce, florida, as thealityo lee adams sr. united states courthouse. i'd like to take the opportunity to thank the gentleman from florida, mr. rooney, for introducing this bipartisan legislation. i also want to thank the 21 co-sponsored from the state of florida for supporting this bill. chief justice alto lee adams sr. honorably served his community and the state of florida throughout his life. chief justice adams was born in 1899 and was raised on a farm in walton county, florida. after graduating from the university of florida college of law in 1921 he practiced law in fort pierce, florida, from from 1944 to 16948.
they wanted to add another justice in 1940, they appointed justice adams to the null created seat. he served on the court from 1940 until 1951 and was chief justice from 1949 until 1951. he sat on the bench, again, from 1967 until 1968. outside his judicial career, chief adams was active in his community. in 1937 he served as the president of florida state elk's association from 1937 to 1938, he served as the chair at the state welfare board. he citrus groves and bass motors and began a cattle ranch in 1937 which is still run by the adams family. the ranch now encompasses over 65,000 acres in three counties. i believe it's appropriate that we honor chief justice adams, dedicate ready service service
to his community in florida. i ask my colleagues to pass this legislation. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1791 and am pleased today to speak in support of the bill that names the courthouse located in fort pierce, florida, as the alto lee adams sr. united states courthouse. . while i may seem redundant because my colleague has already mentioned most of the accomplishments of judge adams, the fact that he was born in 1899 in florida and was in the u.s. navy, that he graduated from the university of law school in 1921 and began practice, legal practice in fort pierce in 1924, then from practicing law for nearly 14 years, judge adams was appointed as was pointed out to the
florida state circuit court in 1938. two years after i was born. after serving as a circuit court judge, he served as the member of the florida supreme court, again, 1940 to 1951. and then from 1967 and 1968, recognized as the first graduate of the university of florida to serve as a justice and later chief justice of the florida supreme court. he was very well noted for his short, clear opinions as well as the several books he publish and of course the legal articles he authored. in 1974 he was awarded the honor of being a distinguished alumnus of the university of florida. and in addition to his judicial duties, he also served as an active member of his community, serving, as was pointed out, president of the florida state elk's association and also the vice chair of the state welfare board.
because of his exemplary career in public service, both -- exemplary career in public service, both in the military and the florida supreme court, i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting h.r. 1791 which does name the u.s. courthouse at 101 south united states route 1 in fort pierce, florida, as the alto lee adams sr. united states courthouse. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from texas. i mean, california. >> mr. speaker, i wish to yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. rooney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rooney: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you to the gentleman from california. today is a great day for the residents of fort pierce, florida, and the treasure coast. over two decades ago the late congressman tom lewis and his district director, anne decker, started the long process of making the courthouse a reality. the countless hours of dedication and work by those who
followed them are now being rewarded with the construction of a new courthouse. i was greatly honored that one of my first official events as congressman was to participate in the historic groundbreaking for this building. i introduced this legislation to honor the distinguished life and career of the late florida supreme court chief justice, alto lee adams, by naming the new courthouse in his memory. this courthouse will fill a vital role for the city of fort pierce, bringing much needed jobs and investment to the community, with greatly needed -- with this greatly needed new federal courthouse. it is only fitting that the courthouse be named in honor of a man who himself gave so much to his community and the legal community of the state of florida. chief justice alto lee adams attended the university of florida college of law in 1921, as was mentioned, practiced law in fort pierce, was appointed circuit court judge for st.
louisy county and was appointed to the state supreme court in 1940. by then governor fred p. cohen. he served as a justice phenomena the florida supreme court from 1940 to 1951 and chief justice from 1949 to 1951. chief justice adams believed it was important to give back to his community, his service to st. louisy county served as an example to his children and those who knew him. and, mr. speaker, i can say having spoke to some of the adams family before i took the floor today, they are thrilled that this bill is being brought up as we speak. in addition to the distinguished legal career justice adams started a successful cattle ranch named the adams ranch in st. lucy county, just had their bull auction last week, and it's still run by the adams family. judge adams set a standard for integrity and community service that lives on today and i believe it's only fitting that this new courthouse is named in his honor. i'm proud to sponsor this bill
and i ask my colleagues for their support in naming this courthouse and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. having no further speakers i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california. >> mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having expired the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1791. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the gentlelady from california. mrs. napolitano: mr. speaker. i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present.
>> house lawmakers return this week. what is ready for action? >> it will be a busy week. they are going to be -- the house republicans and the conference committee are going to be unveiling the minibus collection of appropriation bills, which will set it up for a vote later this week. they will also include a short- term continuing resolution to fund the rest of the government through december 16 to give them time to work on the preparation that have not yet passed -- on the appropriations that have yet to pass. it is going to be the department of agriculture, transportation, housing and urban development, commerce,
and justice. >> you mentioned a short-term resolution for spending for the agencies that have not been included so far in spending bills. how long will that short-term cover? >> through december 16, so that will be about a month, which will take them up to win both the house and senate hope to be breaking for the rest of the year and that the holidays. that goal is to use that month, most of it being after they returned from thanksgiving, beginning in december for the next two weeks, the hammer that out. of course, when we get near the holidays, oftentimes these are extended, so nobody will be the surprise if they need and other short-term bill for a week or
so heading toward christmas. >> what problems are republicans anticipating? >> to begin with, nobody wants another short-term spending bill in the context of they have been doing these now for a year or more, and every time the leaders say this is the last one, and then of course is not. specifically, the problem that house republican leaders are having is similar to what they have out before, conservative members of their caucus who want a lower, more spending cuts. the leaders agreed to an overall spending cap $1.043 trillion for 2012 as part of the debt ceiling deal, and many conservatives want them to go further than that. house republican leaders say they are sticking to the deal they made earlier in the year. >> how about the deficit
reduction committee? , they are continuing to meet, not as a full committee, groups, having conversations, having a lot of conversations, but not all 12 of them behind closed doors in a room. this has been the pattern. this is the crucial week for them. there deadline is 9 days or 10 days away. they are continuing to meet. we have heard no signs of a breakthrough yet today. >> russell berman is a staff writer for "the hill." >> listening on radio, listening for the door, if the secret police might come. that isn't out of date image
now. >> david ensor on the changing face of aoa. >> we have lot of affiliate's thatd the world, stations use us as a news bureau. the mission has stayed the same. >> "the communicators," tonight on c-span2. president obama continues his trip to hawaii and a share. he plans to be there until wednesday, when he will travel to australia and indonesia. next week he returns to hawaii to meet with leaders of canada and mexico before heading to washington on saturday. >> this c-span.org home page is
not easier to use. there's a section on the home page can access the most popular series like ,"washington journal." we at added a handy channel finder. it is the all-new c span.org. >> house democrats held at 4 today to investigate changes and voters' rights. steny hoyer sent letters to the secretary of state for each of those states asking them to protect voting rights. we are showing you as much of this as we can until we resume our live coverage of the house at 6:30 p.m. >> good afternoon.
the committee will come to order. we see all our witnesses to this forum our presence, and i am very pleased to acknowledge that of the congressional black caucus as well as our colleague from ohio. we have other members on the way. i wanted to merely start this discussion off with underscoring the constitutional significance of the right to vote, because after all, if you do not have that, call it anything else, but democracy is misunderstanding the deep, historical significance of having to choose who governs
whom in any kind of national setting. now, the problem that we have been encountering is that there have been so many changes to the voting rights laws, both federal and state wide, that this form is necessary necessary. for example, we've had 16 state laws that have impaired, in my view, the citizens' right to vote. examples, a law that would limit voting by requiring photo identification. alabama, kswb, rhode island, south carolina, tennessee, texas, oh, by the way, do we have a recorder here?
who's -- what do you mean -- is this being recorded or not? ok. we have -- i require photo identification for voting by law in the following eight states. alabama, kswb, rhode island, south carolina, tennessee, texas, wisconsin and mississippi. we have laws that exclude specifically forms of identification that has usually been significant such as student i.d.'s and social security cards.
this is by law. south carolina, tennessee and texas. we have laws that declare a showing of proof of citizenship as a condition for voter registration. alabama, kansas, and tennessee. we have laws that limit or eliminate early voting opportunities in two, three, four, five states. florida, georgia, ohio, tennessee and west virginia. and we have two states that have eliminated same-day registration and limit voter mobilization efforts. and so thanks to the center we have documentary evidence that
some five million citizens are being negatively impacted by restrictive laws. and i don't want to take the place of the witnesses, but since i've been doing this longer than any of the witnesses i just want you to know that the reason for these laws have been to fight voter fraud. you know, where people actually try to vote more than once under a false identity and you now how pervasive this is, it's going on all over the place and it requires our leaders to take
some action on it. and so what do we do? we've turned up after a five-year investigation less than 90 cases. and further we found 19 cases of inhe will -- of ineligible voting at the state level over the last nine years. so this is a serious problem, folks. we've got to deal with this problem and we're going to find out how best to do it, we would welcome all of the distinguished witnesses, including the naacp leader who was not on time in coming to the hearing. [laughter] but we'll strike that from the record.
the record will not show that, i assure you. >> i'm inform he didn't have his photo i.d. to get through the door. >> on that note i would like to introduce now the minority leader from maryland who's been a friend of ours in the civil rights community and on the judiciary committee for many, many years, the honorable steny hoyer, for his comments. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i'm going to speak on behalf, i think, of the minority leader and myself as the minority whip. but i thank you for holding this hearing. this is a very -- that's all right. i thank you for that. but i want to say how pleased i am to join my colleagues, emanuel cleaver and congresswoman fudge, at this hearing, as well as chairman conyers who's been such a giant on behalf of the rights of all
americans in our country, throughout the extraordinary career in the congress of the united states. i want to thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this important hearing. with the federal election just under a year away, the committee is right to look into possible voter suppression taking place. and i say possible. we know that voter suppression has been taking place, is being taken place and is planned. the right to vote, of course, is fundamental to our entire system of government and the ability of every american to have his or her voice heard in washington and their state house and their local communities is absolutely essential. that right is under threat. nationwide state legislatures have been wrecking barriers that inter or prohibit eligible voters from casting ballots. there is some light, the voters of ohio decided that that was not what they thought was proper.
and that was a victory. but that was not the case everywhere in the united states. they're making it harder and harder to vote by mandating certain forms of photo identification, which many current voters do not have. and are time consuming and expensive to obtain. for college students, this means not being able to show their student i.d. the example's been used, hillary, when we were meeting in my conference room, that a student i.d. is not acceptable in some places. but a concealed weapon license is. i'm not sure dish know there's a difference, a very substantial differents -- difference, but i'm not sure what the difference is in terms of identification. unless it is spread olympics that is the standard, not identification. for the many african-americans and latinos who do not have an.
i d. card and that meet these new requirements, it means paying fees. for many asian americans whose names are often spelled slightly differently on different forms of identification, these new rules present new challenges. now it says asian americans but steny has been spelled a lot of different ways during the course of my life. we've also heard about efforts to make voter registration nearly impossible. otherwise known as back to the past. not the future. one florida high school teacher tried to register her voting age students and now faces a $1,000 fine for not filing the forms within 48 hours. not even enough time for them to arrive by mail. she dedicates her career to teaching the value of democracy. yet is blocked in her efforts to get her students to participate in democracy. as a result of rules such as
this one, the legal -- the league of women voters, i don't know whether the league of women voters is represented here, the league is represented here. which in my lifetime, this has always been in the forefront in a nonpartisan, bipartisan way of assuring that people had the right to vote. they have stopped registering voters in the state of florida. how sad that is for america, not just for florida, not just for the voters of florida, but for the voters everywhere in america. at the same time, states are rolling back opportunities for early voting. now, very frankly, when i take off on tuesday to vote, nobody docks my pay. that's not true of every american. sundays are good days for them to vote, saturdays are good days for them to vote.
we have early voting in the state of maryland. that was opposed frankly by some but it is facilitated an awful lot of people who have trouble getting off on tuesday. to vote. busy working families with children and for seniors who cannot wait in long lines, early voting is often the only opportunity to cast a ballot. i was the chief sponsor of the help america vote act, after the 2000 election. to facilitate and ease and to assist people in voting. and to make sure their vote counted. that seems to me a primary responsibility for any of us in public office. we are witnessing a concerted effort to place new obstacles in front of minority, low income families an young people who seek to exercise their right to vote. the lawmakers pushing these new measures claim they are protecting against an epidemic
of voting fraud. frankly americans believe there's an epidemic of voter fraud, we just saw a poll. as a matter of fact, we had a vote in one of the states that said, yes, by almost 2-1. photo i.d. is fine. but, if you ask them, when was the last instance of voter fraud in your community, or in your county or your in state, they would be hard pressed to come up with an example. the evidence we do have points to a political agenda on the part of those who are crafting these new rules. the right to vote should and must not depend on the politics of the day but on eligibility. i am glad that the committee will be hearing from witnesses who can testify to the effect these rules are having and will have on the constitution and moral right of our citizens to vote. among those testifying today are individuals who have been hindered from casting their votes because of these rules. this problem is not abstract.
there are real people, many of whom have proudly voted many times in the past. but who now have essentially had their right to vote taken away. a poll tax by another name would smell as vial. earlier this month i joined with 195 other house democrats in a letter to all 50 secretaries of state urging them to protect access to the ballot. mr. chairman, i look forward to working closely with you, with the congressional black caucus, hispanic caucus, the asian pacific american caucus and every other person in the congress of the united states who would not want me to stand at the box on the floor of the house and say, i want to see your photo i.d. or i want to see some other indication. thank you very much, mr. chairman, and i want to thank all the witnesses for their efforts, not just their testimony, but for their efforts
on a continuing basis to assure that every american not only has the right to vote but is assisted and urged and facilitated in casting that vote. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, steny hoyer, whip, majority leader formerly, and a stellar member of the civil rights movement going not only throughout his entire congressional career but even prior to that, when he served with distinction in the state house. thank you for that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> for your statement. and i now turn to the chairman of the congressional black caucus, the one and only emanuel cleaver, who is in his fourth term in the house of representatives, who is -- i
should just say he's a licensed ministers. we have a lot of preachers and other people, but he is a pastor . how he maintains his triple role as congressman, as chairman of the black caucus and a church on top of it is beyond me, but we're honored that he is here with us today and that we recognize him. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for organizing and holding this hearing. i think that you are having a hearing on one of the most significant civil rights issues of our time. this however is a very solvable rights issue. i am here today, mr. chairman, to express the deep and abiding
concern that we of the c.b.c. and people of goodwill have with this year's onslaught of voter suppression laws which have not so ironically arrived in time for the 2012 elections. early voting days have been cut short, stiffer identification requirements have been implemented and proof of citizenship is required. all of these policies aristically proven to impact people -- statistically proven to impact people of color disproportion atly. while claims have been made that these laws are designed to eliminate voter fraud, mr. chairman, i firmly believe that these laws will do the worst thing that can be done in a democracy, discourage citizens from voting. 40 years ago the congressional black caucus was founded to positively influence the course
of events pertinent to african-americans and others of similar experience and situations. in the years since, we've earned the moniker, the conscience of the congress. because of our unyielding commitment to our communities and our country, we know that our mission is to help our country become a more perfect union. 40 years after our founding we boast the largest membership roster in history, we are now 43 members strong, representing a khanaqin jent of over 9,000 -- a contingent of over 9,000 african-american officials all over this country. i can say with absolute certainty that our numbers have grown in large part because of the enforcement of the voting rights act and the laws that ensure election protection and parity at the polls for america's electorate. in 2009 one of our mens, barack obama -- members, barack obama,
was sworn in as the first african-american, the 4th president of the united states of america. throughout the united states dozens of new laws have been proposed which would restrict, we believe, voter participation. given the lack of evidence of voter fraud in our nation, it is clear these laws do more to suppress the rights of voters than to safeguard our voting system. as elected officials, whether local, state or federal, it is our obligation to not only encourage our constituents to vote, but to ensure the voting process is easy. we should not and cannot stand idly by as states enact laws that disproportionately harm people of color. -- color, youth, low income individuals and host of others. state governments across the country enacted an array of new
laws making it harder to register or to vote. some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification. often of a type that as many as one in 10 voters do not have. other states have cut back on early voting, a process disproportionately used by millions of disabled, elderly and minority americans. two states, iowa and florida, reversed earlier reforms and once again disenfranchised millions who have pass criminal convictions but are nonetheless tax paying citizens. as of today 34 states have introduced laws that would require voters to present photo identification in order to vote. 14 states have enacted some type of restrictive voting law. 12 states have introduced legislation that requires an individual to show proof of
citizenship when registering to vote. and nine states have introduced bills to reduce early voting. in my home state of missouri, a voter identification amendment will be placed on the 2012 ballot for voter approval. requiring missourians to present photo i.d. when voting in person. already stores have been circulating of lawful citizens being turned away from the polls because these new overly restrictive laws. mr. chairman, i've been fortunate, i lived to see my great-grandfather reach his 103rd birthday. the reverend noah albert cleaver lived and died in waxahachie, texas. and because of the restrictive voting laws in texas and the poll tax, my grandfather lived
103 years in this country without voting. 103 years without voting. while african-americans may have gained the right to vote with the enactment of the 15th amendment, years of jim crow laws and discriminatory literacy tests and poll taxes were passed as poorly veiled attempts to disenfranchise millions which prevented african-americans from having a true right to vote until the voting rights act passage in 1965. students and young americans, while old enough to be drafted into the war, were not able to fully participate in our democracy. mr. chairman, in conclusion, i
grew up in texas, graduated from a&m university. prairie view has become an all black town for a lot of reasons. texas a&m is only 40 miles away and prairie view was built as the negro texas a&m. the students there at prairie view cannot vote with their student i.d. however, if you are a gun owner, you can show your gun registration and vote. you would have to be a very mean-spirited and ideologically
warped person to believe that this is right. and that this is fair. thank you, mr. chairman, for providing this opportunity for me to provide this testimony. >> thank you, representative cleaver, for that impassioned statement. i'm proud of the fact that your history and your remembrance of it is going to motivate many, many people who -- to whom this subject matter may not be nearly as familiar with as you are. and i thank you very much. congresswoman marcia fudge of the 14th district of ohio serves on both the science and space and tech committee and the agriculture committee.
she's been here for two terms as a member of congress, but we can't help but recall, as our whip steny hoyer does, that she was chief of staff for the late stephanie tubbs jones for many years and the commitment of both her and our former member is evident in her presence here today and we recognize her at this time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank our distinguished panel for being here today. it is time that the american people hear from more than just us that there is a concerted effort across this country to limit, to suppress and to undo
our right to vote. it is deliberate and it is by design. from ohio to wisconsin, down to florida, across texas, the franchise is under attack today in this country. a certain predetermined segment of americans are being targeted. young people, the elderly, our disabled and our minorities will all feel the repercussions of this concerted effort. there's nothing new about the fact -- practice that we are seeing today, if you lived at least as long as i have lived. these are the thackses -- taxes that have been used for years. what we call the poll tax 50 years ago is now having to buy a voter i.d. card today. legislation passed or proposed in the state of ohio, which is my home, and a number of other states have ended sunday voting. think about it. ohio's republican legislator has
voted to reduce not only sunday voting, but voting early from what currently was 35 days a year ago down to 16 days. in 2008 african-american voters accounted for 22% of early votes. and 31% of sunday voters. latinos accounted for 22% of sunday voters. minorities who work long hours or week and don't get time off need the flexibility that early voting and sunday voting provide. on saturdays and sundays before election day, people of faith across the country remind their parishioners to vote. but those who are orchestrating this voter suppression effort know full well the importance of early voting and sunday voting. they know that minorities in particular will be disproportionately impacted by these laws.
i was among those who fought ohio's voter suppression bill which is house bill 194. now because of our effort voters will cast a vote to decide whether or not 194 will become law. i also fought ohio's voter photo i.d. law. we put so much pressure on our legislature that they decided to delay moving forward with the legislation. along with my colleagues, i have remained active and vigilant here by introducing legislation organizing press conferences of which some of you have joined me. and house speeches at the request of our whip. i will continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves because we cannot afford to be silenced. i will end with the words of dr. martin luther king who said that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
we are indeed in times of challenge and controversy. the -- those who have traditionally been disenfranchised are once again under attack. i thank you for your work and look forward to your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thanks, congresswoman fudge, for your moving opening statement. without objection, we will include into the record the statements of representative sheila jackson lee of texas, a member of the house judiciary committee, representative charles gonzalez, the chair of the hispanic caucus, and a former member of the judiciary committee, and representative john lewis who is the foremost civil rights advocate in the congress at this time. and so we turn to this
incredible list of witnesses and we start off with the head of the league of women voters of the united states. she's a lawyer, former district attorney and has done an incredible job in terms of voter education and getting people registered. the amazing thing is that she is a dekalb county, georgia, resident, and she has a lot of experience about what it takes to break down the barriers of segregation and getting people -- not just registered to vote, but participating in the
electoral process. and her statement will be put into the record as will all the witnesses and we invite you to begin. >> press that button. >> by not -- it might help if we turn the microphone on. i want to thank you, mr. conyers, for holding this discussion that will help to focus our nation's attention on voter suppression legislation that we in the league of women voters, as all of the rest of us have seen sweeping this country, particularly over the last year. the right to vote is and to have your vote counted is the very foundation of our democracy and today it is under attack. my name is elizabeth mcnamara and i'm president of the league of women voters of the united states. this year the league actively opposed voter suppression legislation in 21 states. we were successful in protecting
the vote in 13 of those states but the remaining states did create new and in some cases insurmountable barriers to the polls. today we are experiencing an assault on voters. this is one of the greatest self-inflicted threats to our democracy, to our way of governing in our lifetimes. these new laws threaten to silence the voices of those least heard and rarely listened to in this country. the poor, the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the young and the differently abled. these new laws require photo i.d. or proof of citizenship in order to vote. they restrict third party voter registration draws -- >> you can see all of this in our overnight programming here on c-span tonight. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] e ha tonight to file the conference report on hr 2112.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to postpone previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. s. 1412, h.r. 298, and h.r. 2422, each by the yeas an nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, to suspend the rules and pass s. 1412, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1412, an act to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 462
washington street, wilburn, massachusetts, as the officer john mcguire post office. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion by the gentleman from texas, mr. farn holt to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 298 on which the the yeas and nays are ordered are ordered. the clerk: h.r. 298, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 5 hucks east whitestone boulevard in cedar park, texas as the army special lift matthew troy morris post office building. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device and this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 391, the nays are zero, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspened, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2422, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: h.r. -- the clerk: h.r. 2422, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service
located at 45 bay street, suite 2, in staten island, new york, as the sergeant angel mendez post office. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> madam speaker, i send to the desk a privilege red port from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title.
the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 463, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 822, to amend title 18 united states code to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a state may carry concealed firearms in a state. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. will members please take their
conversation office the house floor. the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank the speaker. madam speaker, small businesses account for nearly all the new job creation in america and nearly half of america's work force. mr. olson sp: yet in this -- mr. olson: yet in this economy, small business owners are struggling to stay afloat. small businesses file taxes as an individual, so any tax hike will kill growth and american jobs. we need a simpler tax code, our current tax code is so complex that america's businesses spend roughly $74 an hour on paperwork for compliance.
that's real money. money that could give jobs to thousands of americans, struggling to take care of their families. house republicans have a plan to fix the tax code to help job creators by giving them more time, more money, and more resources to invest in expansion and job creation. madam speaker, america's job creators deserve a simpler and more equitable tax system and house republicans plan to give them exactly what they deserve. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. mr. cohen: this weekend, we honored our veterans, and the
senate passed -- honored them with a cola increase. in memphis, we had a city lunch, we honored bobby rush, not bobby rush of the united states congress, but bobby rush the great blues guitarist and singer. he's done much to honor veterans throughout the country. he's been the international ambassador of the blues, has traveled to iraq, kuwait and afghanistan to perform for our troops. he holds an annual red, white, an blues day jam to honor our veterans. he said, i was honored to witness the sacrifice they go through so people like you and me can live our lives. so as i said in memphis last week and i do again today, i thank our veterans and i thank bobby rush for taking his talents to entertain our troops, honor our veterans and
to be a great american. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: one moment. the house will be in order. will members please take their conversations off the house floor. thank you. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today for the 44th -- for the 44,030 americans who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and for the 6,600 minnesota yaps in my own community who lost their fight to this disease in 2010. november is pancreatic cancer month. it's one of the top four killers in the united states and the only one in the top four that doesn't have a known cure. mr. paulsen: pancreatic cancer
has the lowest relative survival rate of any cancer tracked. over 210 individuals have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 92% of them pass away within the first year of their disease. that's why i support legislation that provides for assistance and education around pancreatic cancer across our cupry. pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival rates have not improved substantially over the last 40 years. we can do a lot to defeat this debilitating disease. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, thank you very much. i apologize for my rasspy voice but my fashion for -- raspy
voice but my passion for standing up overrules my voice. i am speechless combined with outrage and anguish over the little boys that have been sexually abused. it is not a question of football and what is king, it's not a question of what state it is and what great university it is. it is a question of adults in institutions ignoring the pain of these children. it is documented that it takes two years before a child is willing to talk about sexual abuse. and in my own state today an 18-year-old took her life because she had been sexually abused by the family member and finally it was investigated, i don't know how long the law enforcement took to investigate it, but she finally took her life with the belief that no one would be prosecuted. so i'll be introducing legislation that will immediately suspend all federal funds of any institution that is
found to have covered up, employed someone who has been engaged in sexual abuse and no one reported it, including prosecutors office who are now just saying that they will be looking at this in the state of texas. it will exclude scholarships and pell grants. i intend to introduce that legislation and stop the funding now for any institution that thinks that they are above the law and will watch a grown man perform a sexual act on a child and refuse to do something about it, refuse to do something about it. it is an outrage. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. are there further requests for one-minute speeches? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today and mr. poe of
texas for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from virginia, mr. rigell, is recognized as the designee of the majority leader. mr. rigell: i thank the speaker. madam speaker, i rise tonight to address two matters that are of great concern to the good folks of the second district of virginia and i believe of every american across this great land. and those two issues are these, job creation and why is our congress so dysfunctional? and as a business person with a lifetime of experience in creating jobs and fixing things,
i really want to emphasize the practical solutions that i think we can bring to bear on these two important issues. you know, i don't think, madam speaker, that there is a family in america that's not been affected in some way or another by this painful economy. unemployment continues to hover around 9%. my wife and i have two dear families in our lives who have lost their business because of the economy and how difficult things are, they're small businesses, we watched them and walked with them through as they had to file bankruptcy and let go their employees. and, madam speaker, the problem is particularly acute and our black community, black men, the unemployment rate is over 19%. this should grieve every american and command our full attention.
madam speaker, this is my first elected office, been up here about 10 1/2 months or so. and -- but i've had about 30 years of experience in job creation. the first business that my wife and i started when i was 22 years old was a cleaning business and we started it because we had more money going out than we had coming in. and i had a couple of options and it seemed like the best one was to start a small business. and we did. a cleaning business. we hired two people. terri hired me and i hired her and that's how we got started and i know, i know and i fully understand what an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a potential small business owner experiences when they're trying to put capital at risk to get what i refer to as an entrepreneurial return. i know that healthy fear that really inspires you to work long hours. we'd call it key to key, open your business and close your
business at night. i know the great joy of being able to say to someone, these wonderful words -- say to someone these word words, you're hired -- these wonderful words, you're hired. i also know what it's like to sit down with a banker, a good friend, a person who stood by us in difficult times but yet they come to the end and they say, scott, i can't help you. meaning they can't approve a critical loan. i understand what that's like. and it all revolves around, whether you own a big business or small business, there's something in common and that is every business has a financial statement. an income statement. and if we look at the income statement, that document that is being looked at by entrepreneurs across america, and we start at the top and you just go down line by line and you see the intersection of what we're doing
here in congress and our federal government, you see the intersection of the actions that we're taking with each line on a financial statement, i'd submit, madam speaker, that the evidence is clear that the steps that we're taking in this congress and, well, at least on our side, i believe the republicans are taking the right steps, but the accumulative effect of what's taken place in this chamber and in the senate and in the white house has made it ever more difficult for the american entrepreneur to make it, to give them a reasonable expectation that they could achieve what we refer to as an entrepreneurial profit. listen, if the person's ok with a 2% return or a 1% return, they'll just leave their money where it is. it takes a lot of courage, i think, for a person to put a second mortgage on their home, to call a family member to borrow money or save up over years and maybe put $15,000 at risk. they have to be able to earn a
better return than that. and in doing so they'll start to hire people. now, let's just take a look, let's just take a look at a basic job creator's financial statement. now, it may look slightly different from one industry or one business to another. but it always starts out at the top with this category right here, sales. nothing happens until you sell something. now, it could be anything. it could be cupcakes like some wonderful entrepreneurs in our district, it could be automobiles, it could be homes. it can be energy. and those companies that supply and help us become more energy independent. now, let's look at this critical area. we have over $500 billion a year that is flowing out of our country, capital that should be circulating within america, is it here?
no, it's going outside of this country to folks like hugo chavez. they do not share our values. and we are funding them because of our failure, republicans, democrats, year after year after year, failing to move this great country toward energy independence. it is hurting us, madam speaker. recently i stood and clapped for our president as he walked in this chamber. and i listened intently on september 8. he drew us together and said, i have a bold message for you. i desperately wanted to hear our president address energy independence. i waited ex peck contaminantly, sitting -- ex peck contaminantly, sitting -- exact antly, sitting right -- expect
antly, sitting -- expectantly, sitting right over there. there are things i agreed with. i looked forward to approving or voting for the veterans bill and the reversal of that 3% withholding that would hurt so many contractors within the second district of virginia and also across this great country. and also has a wonderful tax credit in it to help those who are helping and hiring our veterans. i look forward to supporting that and enthusiastically want to vote for it and i support what the president's doing. but absent in his remarks, 4,134-word address to congress, was the word energy. certainly absent was the phrase energy independence. this is a tragic mistake. it hurts america. it hurts employment in the second congressional district of virginia and across this great
land. we have so much opportunity to put folks at work with great paying jobs. i'm talking about $70,000 and 80,000 a year jobs, some of them -- $80,000 a year jobs, some of them will pay even more. good paying jobs. we have the great protension. and if there are any questions -- potential. and if there are any questions about where the president stands on this issue, he made it abundantly clear this week. last week, rather. he said, nothing, nothing off the coast of virginia. the energy resources that are there will be locked up. while residents of the second district are hurting because they don't have employment opportunities. madam speaker, i would submit that our pain in america is largely self-inflicted. we are regulating ourselves out of our prosperity. and every opportunity -- at every opportunity. it's wrong. we can and we should take a
different direction. let's look at the expenses faced by our small business owners. i just hit one area of sales, i could have gone a lot longer on that. let's just go down to some of these expenses that we see here. interest. well, interest rates are extraordinarily low right now. i'd say that's a positive thing. only because there's a near collapse of confidence in the european economy and that's why folks are still rushing over here to america, driving down interest rates. do not be fooled. that will not sustain itself. there is a risk and i would say it's a -- it's backed by the evidence that folks ought to be mindful that interest rates can go up. and i think likely will. you know, when i talk to the bankers in our area, i'm not talking about the big shots in
new york, i'm talking about homegrown banks, our neighbor, our friends. small banks, the ones that sponsor the little leagues. they say, scott, listen, we're not hiring account executives to go out and meet with your business and other small, medium sized businesses. we're hiring regulatory analysts just to deal with what's coming at us from dodd-frank. had the president of a local bank tell me the other day, he said, scott, he said, listen, we're getting out of this line and this line of business because we just can't handle the regulatory burden. now, i am not a no-regulation person. i hate to disappoint my libertarian friend buzz i'm not a libertarian. i have a libertarian streak in me. but i'm not a libertarian. there is a proper role for government. and indeed an essential role for government. i am for wiser, smarter, lighter
regulations that will free up the greatest job producing engine the world's ever known, the american entrepreneur. let's look right here. we've covered interest and even the availability, the availability of capital. we're paying banks a small interest rate, a small return on their money, the government is, but we're not requiring them to loan it out. it's really a bizarre situation. and one that's hurting our ability to grow our economy. look at health care. the affordable health care act is, if anything, it's exploded the degree of uncertainty. i do not know a fellow entrepreneur in my district who can tell me where their costs are going other than they're going up. the affordable health care act, which still is an evolving
document, as it becomes kind of flushed out by the regulators, those who are writing all these regulations, it's a moving target. people just don't know where it's going. so we've got uncertainty there on health care. look at legal fees. we are the only country in the world that runs about 2% of our gross domestic product in legal fees. we are a society and our laws encourage that. it's wrong. it puts an unnecessary burden on the american entrepreneur. and let's pause for just a moment and kind of define the american entrepreneur just for a moment. not talking about highly sophisticated folks and m.b.a.'s and all that. i'm talking about the moms and dads and young people who are starting businesses out of
their home, and relying on maybe some borrowed money from family or friends or a small second mortgage on their home, if they own a home. these are the burdens we're putting in their way that makes it more difficult to, again, get a return, an entrepreneurial return on their investment. accounting. accounting services, i love the c.p.a.'s out there in our community. but they are having to deal with things and, for example, our tax code, that is incredibly complex. and unnecessarily so. i have found in my 10 1/2 months here that the halls are filled with lobbyists. some, i think, can provide us with good information but some have only one mission. that's just to find a strategic advantage for their industry or sector. and that is expressed in our tax code. and i along with my colleagues
and i certainly can speak for my republican colleagues and i trust for my friends who are democrats, we can, we must, we will simplify our tax code. when i would sit down with our accountant every year as a small or medium-sized business owner and my good friend david would say, here's the tax return, scott. and i would go through it, and with even 25, 30 years of business experience, i'd say, david, i just don't understand this. i'm doing my very best to keep up with you, i don't understand this. it is not right when an american wants to pay his or her fair share, whatever is expected, and the law requires to pay, and there's not a person out there, include wng the i.r.s., that can confirm you're paying it correctly. if you call the i.r.s. and ask for guidance that is no defense if you do it incorrectly.
it's not right. e.p.a. compliance. at every turn. look, we have a moral obligation to leave our children with clean air and clean water and clean soil. i'm a recreational fisherman. don't have much time to do that now, that's ok. i used to go out to the second and third island on the bay bridge tunnel, those of you in my district know what i'm talking about. when the stripers are there and running, it's a fun evening. i don't want to catch a striper with a lesion. i want to make sure we meet the deep obligation we have to the next generation of americans to be proper stewards of the environment. what i so often disadepree with, with my friends who would profess to love the environment more than i do, which is something, frankly, i don't
concede, is this. we are headed, we are headed so often to the same place. sometimes it's a matter of timing. are we going to get there over three years? can we stretch it out over 10 to 15 so we can give industry a reasonable time to adjustment 6 -- to adjust. as i listen carefully to the administration and to my colleagues on the proverbial other side, i think it can be boiled down to this. there is this general debate taking place and i frame it this way. the administration believes there's a role for the american entrepreneur to play in job creation, but it's reliance is principally on government. it's belief -- its belief is principally in stimulus spending that is borrowing money to buy things through the government, i think the evidence of this is clear. the administration has doubled
down and the jobs -- in the jobs bill on a stimulus-driven mind set. now in sharp contrast, we, as republicans, believe there is a role for government, a proper role for government, but our reliance, our reliance is upon the american entrepreneur. the small business owner. we see, when we wake up in the morning and when we go to sleep at night, we know that the key to getting through this, to unleashing the great potential of america, is the american entrepreneur. america's small business owner. look. i applaud the president for putting forth a jobs bill. but let me share with you this. we've passed a lot of jobs bills. it's right here. and i want to take a moment,
this may seem tedious, but we need to slow down and get our facts right. i'd like to cover briefly a summary of the 22 jobs bills that we have passed in this body with bipartisan support that are now stalled in the united states senate. now, as a new member here, i have just found it incredibly frustrated that we have passed good bills, bills that i know would move our country forward in job creation, and they're met with this response from the senate majority leader -- dead on arrival. really? dead on arrival? i think i learned about eighth or ninth grade in civics class, here's what's supposed to happen. the senate passes its own bill or amends ours. then we go to conference. that doesn't happen very often. very seldom. here are the bills, a summary of the bills we have passed in
this body, i'm very proud of my party in this respect. when there are issues with our party, i'm quick to say that too and we'll cover those in just a few minutes when we answer the second question, what's wrong with this body. let me read just a few of them here, madam speaker. h.r. 872, reducing the regulatory burden act. we're addressing, if you think through this, we are addressing individual lines on a financial statement, each one of which would give breath and life and hope to the american entrepreneur. say hey, you know what, i really think i can do this. i'm going to take that second mortgage out. the h.r. 910, energy tax prevention act of 2011. h.r. 37. disapproving the rule submitted by the federal communications commission, h.r. 1230, restarting american offshore leasing now act. h.r. 1229, putting the gulf of
mexico back to work actment and h.r. 1231, which would have reversed the offshore moratorium act. it gos on and on, madam speaker. -- it goes on and on, madam speaker. on and on. these are good bills. i encourage americans across this great land to take a look at what we are doing as republicans in leading, leading the way toward true job creation. madam speaker, i know we can get our company, our country, rather, back to work. there are clear steps we can take so that when you get to the very bottom, this profit after tax equals a return on investment that is attractive, that makes folks want to put capital at risk.
i want to cover one more thing before i go to the critical question of why our congress is dysfunctional. taxation. i'll just give you one example of how this is having a very detrimental impact on our country. we have a wonderful manufacturer in virginia beach, part of the second district, called steel. you may know them from their chainsaws, high quality product. it's a beautiful, well-run, efficient plant that they have in virginia beach. and they shared with me, they said, scott, look, we are competitive with our sister unit in asia, we are competitive with our sister unit in south america that produce essentially the same parts and products. we are competitive. on a cost per piece basis. but here's where we're not competitive. we are not competitive on an after tax basis. now, whether we like it or not, we are in a global economy. we are competing with countries
around the world. not just with our neighbors here. in north and central and south america. we are competing with countries all across the world. so our tax rate, our tax structure, has to move america in the direction of making america the best place to start a business. in particular -- and particularly manufacturing. madam speaker, this is the manufacturing base, the fact that we are producing less here in america, i believe that's the principal reason why there's a shrinking of the middle class. so we need to come together as democrats and republicans and independents and improve our manufacturing base, the 22 bills that i mentioned address that directly and head on and they should be passed by our senate and then sent to our president for signature. let's tackle that second question, madam speaker.
why is our congress so dysfunctional? i believe there are three principal reasons, madam speaker. the first is the harshness of our tone. both parties are guilty of this, madam speaker. both parties. let me give you an example on the republican side of the ledger. i don't use the term obamacare. because i believe it's pejorative. right out of the get-go, it personalizes the debate. my objection to the affordable health care act has nothing to do with the president himself. it has to do with what's in the bill. but when we use the term like obamacare, it is unnecessarily interjecting into the conversation a -- an angle which so many in our country find divisive. i've spent a lot of time with our black pastors and bishops in our second district of
virginia, what a joy it is to go across our great district and worship in different houses of worship and when i sit down with my good friends, our bishops an pastors, principally in the black community and we start talking about these matters and they say, where are you on the affordable health care act? i said, i don't support it, here's why. but you know, i don't use the term obamacare. they said, yeah, oftentimes they'll say, scott, they see it as a racist term. i don't speak for every black pastor in my district, certainly. but i'll tell you i've talked to enough to know that some do see it that way. why would we use a term that unnecessarily alienates us from our friends and moves us apart as the american people? i submit to you, madam speaker, that what's taking place in this bodyy is hurting every -- in this body is hurting every american family. if it wasn't, quite frankly, i wouldn't p be here. but it is. it's putting our currentry at
material and serious risk. there's a harshness of tone. i think the way to respond to that and head in a different direction is to think, what would your mom say? i know how my mom taught me to speak to others, with respect. and madam speaker, i would say this. we should not mistake civility with weakness. we can and should be firm on principal. civility is not an indication that one is not -- does not hold core values. now, the second tissue the second aspect of -- the second aspect of what's hurting this body and every american family is this. the misuse an often times the complete dismisal or deliberate failure to reference facts. i'm a business person. i don't know any other way to make a decision other than to first gather the facts. if i start making decisions off
of how i feel, or where i think the decision ought to go, i would not only not prosper, i would go into bankruptcy. and i think in some ways, that's where we're headed as a country because we're not relying on the facts. let's take a couple here that jump out at us. now, i would say to my friends who are democrats, let's consider this. historically, we've been around 19% of expenses as a percent of our gross domestic product. right now, we're over 24.5%. this is putting america on a perilous course. i believe that it threatens our country in a fundamental way. to my republican colleagues, let's look at the other side. historically, we've been around 18%, plus or minus. revenue as a percent of gross domestic product. right now, we're less than 15%. that, too, is a problem. any republican who will not
admit to this or to confront it and discuss it head on, is not dealing with reality. these are the numbers. it's not how you feel. it's where the numbers lead us. we need to be a leadership team here, a body that respects, seeks out, and is guided by the facts. you know, madam speaker, my colleague, who i respect very much, representative swikeert, he was down here one afternoon, i was watching him on c-span, i was in my office, watching him and he had a wonderful presentation, and what he did was he put into perspective, it was some time ago, probably six weeks or so, maybe eight, he put in perspective this debate taking place where there was some charges coming from our friends on the other side and they were basically saying, you know, you're trying to crush medicare on the backs of the
poor, giving breaks to oil companies and he did this, he kind of broke it down, he said, oge, we're borrowing about $4.7 billion a day, let's look at all tax cuts for all americans if you eliminated every single one of them, it would be about 28 minutes out of that 24-hour day. if every tax break was removed. and i'm certainly, we'll walk through which ones we can support. 28 minutes of a 24-hour day could be addressed by these tax cuts. tax incentives provide oil companies the amount to about 2.2 minutes under his calculation and i'm quite confident in his math. so about 2.2 minutes out of a 24-hour day could be addressed by eliminating the tax cuts to oil companies. and the tax treatment for corporate jets, if you remember
that discussion, is about 15 seconds of a 24-hour day. yet in this body, right here, it was presented as either fixed medicare -- fix medicare or eliminate these tax breaks. or hold onto them, rather. it was a false argument. you could agree to every single reversal and we'd still be faced with an enormous, an enormous fiscal challenge. it looks like a ski slope, our expenses look like a ski slope. and yet our friends on the other side would present it as, well, all you have to do is basically eliminate these tax breaks and, you know, kind of a no-pain option. so i think, and both sides do this. you know, you looked back, i picked -- i targeted my own party on the first point of
harshness. i could give examples in each category of each party. now, questioning of motives here. this has been a most interesting experience as a new member of congress. i have sat in this body right here and watched my colleagues, democrat colleagues, stand up and with great, with great say, you don't care about the poor, you don't care about the elderly, you don't care about our minority communities. madam speaker, how can one judge another's heart, how can one judge another's intent? i would say to my democrat colleagues, you may care as much about our environment, but you
do not care more. you might care as much about the poor but you do not care more. you might care as much about the poor, but you do not care more. you might care as much about ensuring that our seniors have medical coverage but you do not care more. indeed, madam speaker, that is why i voted for the house republican budget, that is why i voted to ensure that we take the steps now so that medicare is solvent. the president and i agree on this matter, that without changes in nine years we're bankrupt in medicare. nine years. that's unacceptable. i think it took political
courage for our party to put that on the house floor and, you know, i think that's a good segue to this account that i have right here. this idea of questioning people's motives. i was on my way to a veterans of foreign war, to a town hall with our fine veterans, i had the great privilege of representing again the second congressional district of virginia, they have the highest concentration of veterans in the country. what an honor it is. so i'm on my way to a v.f.w. breakfast meeting and these good men and women get up early, i think it started at 7:30. got a call from our district director and she said, congressman, she said, moveon.org is here. i said, ok. how many? she said, oh, i think one or two. and i said, shannon, there will be more. and don't worry about it. we pulled up there and the door to the entrance was quite far from where we were on the road. there was quite a distance to
the parking lot. and there were a couple of protesters out there, i think by that time it was three or four. and i told my good friend who works with me every day, i said, stop the car. he said, what are you going to do? what, what, what? i said, i said, it's ok, i just want to get out and talk and listen. i got out of the car and said, good morning, i'm scott rigell. the gentleman said, i know who you are. i said, look, i appreciate you being here this morning, i respect you for getting up early, you care about this topic of medicare, you care enough to get out here and meet with me or at least send me a message. i said, what's on your mind this morning? i think that caught them offguard a bit. but as we went through the conversation he said, well, you're giving all these oil subsidies and crushing medicare. i said, well, we've got something in common here. let's talk about this. i don't believe in oil subsidies. i said, i'm looking at this
matter right now. it's taken me a little time, it's a complex matter. there are several different areas of tax treatment for oil companies. i called in one of the most progressive groups in america to give me their take on this. tell me why these are tax subsidies? and as i met with these young folks in my office, they were first a bit surprised that they found themselves in my office, but i was delighted to have them there. and i said, help me to understand why these are tax subsidies. there are a number of them and they started to go down the list and i almost immediately noticed a problem. i'm a business person, i've been in business 30 years. i said, wait a minute, these are simply -- some of these are just regular, regular tax deductions that any business would get. whether they are a mom and pop operation or a large corporation. now, these over here, they sure look like tax subsidies to me. if i determine that they are, i'll vote to repeal them on the
house floor. and i went back to those that were not true tax subsidies and i said, listen, i said, don't use hyperbole to make your point. it actually diminishes your argument. we got through that and i shared a little bit of that story with this good gentleman from moveon.org that met me outside the town hall. and then after that i said, you know, you've accused me, i should say you're certainly taking a shot at me here, for not caring about the elderly. i said, no, this is why i voted for the house republican budget. this is the best way to ensure that we protect medicare. i said, do you know how long it takes us to balance the federal budget under this plan? that you say is extreme. he had called it extreme. i said, sir, do you know how long it's going to be you
understand the republican plan? -- to be under the republican plan of borrowing money each and every year? he said, no. i said, i do. i said, it's 25 years. under the plan that's called extreme it's 25 years of continuous borrowing. and that's the boldest plan out there right now. at least it's gotten serious consideration. and of course that plan too sits in the united states senate. without action. in the second congressional district of virginia we are blessed with water. it's all around us. you can't go down a street for four or five miles before hitting beautiful water. and in those waters are one of the most precious and delicious little createures known to man -- creatures known to man, the
blue crab. and if you're lucky you can put a couple of chicken eggs in a crab pot, fill it and just -- in just about any part of these bodies of water that we're blessed with in the second congressional district, come back in about four or five days and if you're lucky you'll have 10 or 12 blue crabs in there. if you pull a blue crab up on the dock, as i've done many times, one thing is pretty striking about that. as you look at these crabs, they have no idea what their fate is and they are just going at it. they are just -- claws are flying, occasionally a claw will be severed and pinched off and -- but they just keep fighting. they're oblivious to their fate. if they had any hope, any hope at all what they would say is,
hey, wait a minute, we're all in this together, this thing is not headed in a very good direction. and they'd say, listen, our only hope is, when this man opens up that little trap door, we all got to rush him and maybe a few of us at least will make our way back into the water. maybe all of us. but our only hope is to do this together. and, madam speaker, i'd submit to you that in more ways than we might imagine we are like crab pots, crabs in a crab pot. we're fighting each other, we're not making good decisions as a body. and it's putting us all at risk. i believe there is a deep resolve, notwithstanding what i
just shared. i believe there is a deep resolve among both parties. i trust and i pray that there is. because the matters before us are so great that there is a deep resolve to do the right thing, to listen to each other, to treat each other with respect , to watch the harshness of our language and our tone, to bring back a civility in our public discourse, to let the facts guide us to good decisions, to not question the motives of others. this will bring us together and yet we know, we know that there will still be spirited debate. this is a good and natural thing. it has been a characteristic of this body since our very founding, since the founding and even prior to the founding of this great country. there will continue to be spirited debate.
how are jobs created? i have given you, madam speaker, and others, my core belief on how jobs are created and how we'll unleash the greatest job-producing engine the world's ever known, the american entrepreneur. some disagree with these priorities. i don't see how. i like my view. it's been tempered by 30 years of reality and experience. but if we come together under the terms and conditions and under the umbrella of civility that i just outlined, i really believe that we'll meet that deep obligation that we have to the next generation of americans to pass on the blessings of liberty and freedom. i close with this, madam speaker. i shared with this body earlier that i had the great privilege of representing the second district which has the highest concentration of men and women in uniform in the entire
country. my weekend was filled with wonderful events honoring our veterans. young veterans. and older veterans like my father ike, at 88 years old, an iwo jima veteran. my favorite veteran by the way. but as we walk through these events from parades and marathon races and just a host of different events, it was just evident to me that we have so much more in common that binds us together. the full fabric of our community, every community, every minority quhuent, every community, old, young, is represented in these wonderful events, our veterans, what they have fought for in this great country and i believe the best way to honor our men and women in uniform surely is of course to stop on veterans day, to pauso